It is easy to recognize physical abuse since the bruises or injuries are not visible. Emotional abuse cannot be easily detected by friends and family members. It is common for someone who is being abused to believe that it is their fault and somehow he or she deserves it. Many will dismiss emotional abuse thinking that it is not as bad as physical abuse. This form of abuse affects a person’s self-esteem, dignity and independence.
At first, the relationship will seem perfect and romantic. Your partner will even go out of their way to show their affection and devotion for you. The romantic gift and gestures can be a way of distracting you from what is coming. The relationship moves fast from being strangers to talking and calling every day. They may even visit you when you do not expect.
At the beginning of the relationship, they will be protective and a little jealous of the idea of you with someone else. Later the protectiveness and jealousy may turn into possession. They may begin to be paranoid and start demanding that you are accessible always. Every time that they call you, they expect you to answer immediately. They always question your whereabouts, who are you with and what are you doing. They rationalize their behavior by claiming that they are concerned about your safety.
- Irrational Jealous
Your partner’s jealousy gets worse and they begin to suspect that you are disloyal. With the efforts to prove your devotion to them, you spend more time with them and less time with your family members and friends. You also cut-off friends who could be considered as romantically interested. They blame this on their past relationship and difficult upbringing while in reality they hide their jealousy.
- Shifting the blame
This occurs when you have a disagreement with your partner and they make you feel that it is your fault. They use you or the people around them to vent their anger. Eventually you will begin to think that every problem in your relationship is your fault. You start thinking that if you tried not to upset him or her things would go back to what they were when the relationship started.
Your partner may put you down privately or publicly by attacking your capabilities, intelligence and mental health. They constantly compare you with others. You try to confront him or her, they question your account of the incidence or they tell you that you are overreacting.
In order to keep you in the relationship, they make threats to blackmail you. They may even warn you about injuring those you love. They use every manipulative technique that they have in order to prevent you from leaving. You may decide to stay with them because you believe that you can save them or get them to change their ways. You keep reminding yourself of the wonderful beginnings so you do not give up but you cling to the idea that things will get better.
If you recognize these behaviors in your partner you should know that they are not normal. These behaviors are associated with emotional abuse. Just because he or she is not physically harming you does not mean that the abuse is not affecting your mental health. It is not unusual to feel afraid of leaving the person who is abusing you. You may feel unsafe and scared of what your partner may do to you or themselves. You can also feel that you are not capable of making it on your own. It is essential to remember that they are people or friends who can help you along the way.